PAT REEVE TALKS TURKEY
Turkey season is almost here. Pat Reeve, the host of Drive TV, has a few great tips for bowhunters who want to hunt turkeys with a bow. Reeve has hunted across the country and really enjoys the challenge of going after turkeys with a stick and string. “I love being in the woods in the spring when the woods come alive with hens and gobblers sounding off at daylight,” Reeve said.
One thing Reeve never leaves home without when bowhunting turkeys is a Jake and a hen decoy. “Using decoys is a must for me. I like a Jake and hen combo. It will lure the gobbler or group of gobblers within bow range and keep them locked up, giving you a close and standing still shot.”
Another item that Reeve always packs is a ground blind. Many hunters might not want to lug a pop-up blind in the woods with them. Some hunters might think a pop-up blind will spook turkeys. Reeve believes hauling a blind into the woods is always a good idea. “Using a blind will keep your movement hidden when you draw a bow and it can give you better set-up options in field situations when there isn’t much cover. There is no need to be concerned about turkeys being spooked off by a new blind; they don’t typically pay any attention to a blind,” Reeve said.
Practice makes perfect and when preparing for a turkey hunt, Reeve likes to practice like he is going to hunt. “I tell bowhunters to practice shooting your bow from a sitting position at specific distances and then place your decoys at that range in the field. Then when the gobbler gets into the decoys, you will know the range. Be patient for the bird to get in the right position and take the shot. When shooting turkeys, if a bowhunter misjudges a birds distance by a few yards it can mean the difference between making a perfect shot or wounding them. That is why I like to make sure I know the distance to the bird I am shooting. Knowing the distance to the decoys is the easiest way to ensure I make a good shot.”
When bowhunting turkeys, Reeve likes a lightweight bow. “I like shooting less poundage on my bow when turkey hunting. Generally I pull about 55-60 pounds and shoot a HHA single pin sight. Less poundage is easier to pull back and hold for longer periods while sitting down.”
Reeve encourages everyone to call loud and call often. “Don’t be afraid to get aggressive with cutting and yelping when calling to get a gobbler fired up. If I hear a gobbler fire back to my call, I know I have his interest. I call and keep reading his temperature and try to keep him gobbling to figure out his location and know when he is getting close. If he stays gobbling in one location for a long period then I shut up for a longer calling period. Turkeys have exceptional eye sight but I always figure if I don’t see them with my own eyes they can’t see me, so I get myself in shooting position and bow in hand before he appears. Once he is in sight, I limit my movements.”